Yesterday Noel Gallagher gave an exclusive interview to Vanity Fair in Italy. The rock star reflected on his new music, the ongoing feud with estranged brother Liam and recalled the best moments of the early Oasis days.
25 years after the release of Oasis’s brilliant debut album Definitely Maybe and 10 years after the notorious split of the band, Noel Gallagher at first glance appears reluctant to dwell on the past. His recent music endeavours have been marked by Noel’s eager desire to experiment and try his hand at different genres, including the so-called cosmic pop and disco. Noel seems very enthusiastic about his new music. In particular, he calls A Dream Is All I Need To Get By, his new song that came out today, “one of the most beautiful songs” he’s ever written, “with such a hypnotic melody”. Noel’s big ego by now has already passed into folklore. He’s never been particularly modest, so his remark that his new tune is “a fucking fantastic piece” hardly comes as a surprise. What follows is Noel’s passionate rant about his songwriting and the inspiration about his upcoming fourth solo album.
“I don’t know where my songs come from. To me it’s still a mystery. If I knew it, it wouldn’t be magic anymore. I’m usually at home watching TV without sound and playing some chords. I can go on playing the same thing for months, then something starts. I recognise this moment and I’m still fascinated by it. My songs seem to fall from the sky”.
Despite the obvious departure from his usual guitar music, Noel insists that his new album is inspired by the traditional Manchester rock bands.
“The sound of my new album is very much influenced by the Hacienda, the place where the Smiths, New Order, Stone Roses and Happy Mondays played in the 80s. And then fro the electronic music that I’ve been listening to recently. For me as a guitarist it’s good to make songs without guitars, because then I learn new things. Making an Oasis record would be the easiest thing, but there’ll still be some people who will say it’s not on the same level as it was in the past”.
The interviewer asks Noel the traditional question about the Oasis reunion. Noel’s answer is just as traditional: a definite and resolute “no”.
“People started singing Don’t Look Back In Anger after the Manchester bombing. The way people remember and sing my songs is incredible. I feel it’s something very special. When people ask me about the Oasis reunion, I often feel the only person on Earth to ask: but what for? Why try to recreate the perfect cake? It would be stupid! That night in Paris I made a very quick decision, I spent less than a minute on it. The whole history of Oasis flashed in front of my eyes, and I asked myself: what else do we want? More tours? No. More money? I already have more than enough. I know why Liam would want a reunion. He’s ashamed of what he’s done and would like to correct his mistakes. All those concerts, especially in Italy, when he left the stage as if nothing had happened in front of 70,000 people… He needs to think about this first”.
Noel seems to clam up as soon as the interviewer mentions Liam. His manner of speaking changes to a more bitter and frustrated one. Despite all the signs of brotherly love shown in the past, he denies ever getting along with Liam and says being in a band with him is just simply “not worth the trouble” anymore. Noel still seems genuinely hurt by Liam’s text message that he notoriously sent to Noel’s daughter Anais earlier this year. According to Noel, that is the reason why he can’t forgive his younger brother anymore.
“What can you do when your daughter calls you almost in tears saying, ‘Dad, but when will he leave me alone?’ Just imagine I was going home that night to tell her and my wife I’m going to reform Oasis. They would say I don’t respect their feelings. Liam is an asshole, that’s his problem. For me it’s ended forever now”.
Despite his bitter feud with Liam, Noel speaks fondly of the Oasis legacy. According to Noel, the three great albums he made are Definitely Maybe, What’s The Story Morning Glory and Don’t Believe The Truth. Surprisingly enough, despite his new music experiments, Noel admits he’ll never be as good a songwriter as he once was.
“I know I can’t reach those peaks again, it’s impossible. At the time of Definitely Maybe I was in my twenties. I was broke and I wrote songs about people who lived without money in a big city. Today I’m a long-time rock star. How can I ever be what I once was? The songs I wrote in Oasis brought people together. I never talked about myself, only about Us. Everyone could relate to my lyrics. If I had written songs about my personal things, Oasis would have been a band like so many others”.
Noel willingly shares his best memories of the early Oasis days. He says he always knew Live Forever would be the song that changes everything.
“I always knew it. I wrote it one afternoon in Manchester while listening to mainstream music. The same evening I sang it in the rehearsal room, and the band members were all stunned”.
But most importantly, Noel has revealed the secret of his success – from his own point of view.
“I couldn’t wait to start the journey of life. I’ve never been afraid of the future. I’ve always embraced it”.
Something we can all learn from, I suppose.
Source: Vanity Fair Italy